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Sunscreens safe to use

19 December 2007

Sunscreens safe to use

“Consumers can be reassured that our sunscreens sold in New Zealand are safe to use” says Garth Wyllie Executive Director of the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association.

It is a requirement that all cosmetic products be safe under the Cosmetic Group Standard of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996. All sunscreens fall under this Act.

The Commission has used one of a possible three international test methods to assess a number of sunscreens in the New Zealand market including the AS/NZS 2604, the US Monograph and the Colipa (EU) standards.
International best practice keeping with the advances being made in sunscreen technology in recent years has seen these standards move to keep up with the changes and this includes proposed changes to the test method used by the Commission.

International sunscreen standards are being developed through the ISO (International Standards Organisation) to harmonise and ensure that both test methods and claims made on sunscreens will be the same no matter what the origin of the sunscreen. New Zealand and Australian industry representatives have contributed to this process to improve the terminology that is used on sunscreen products and ensure a common set of rules that will assist regulatory authorities such as the Commerce Commission in assessing correctly products and more importantly ensure that consumers have a simple but clear level of understanding of the protection that sunscreen offers.

The CTFA believes that sunscreen is a secondary back up to sun protection that consumers must first listen to the messages about time in the sun, covering up during the peak periods and staying out of the sun during those same times when possible.

The CTFA strongly advocate that sun screen must be used in liberal quantities and applied to all exposed parts of the body on a regular basis.

Double the SPF does not mean double the protection but it does reduce the risk of sun damage and consumers spending time in the sun should use at least an SPF 30+ broad spectrum product for minimum sun protection.

ENDS

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